Trucking right along with this new venture. It's a nice change of pace to see finished models (except for the bases, but more on that later) pile up with relative quickness. I didn't quite hit the goal I set last time as the wizard isn't finished (I barely touched him in fact), but the Spearmen and cannon are all done so I'll call that close enough for victory. The Spearmen have yellow tassels on their spears which doesn't show up too well in the picture. They did come out a bit dark as individuals, but I'm hoping that when I get a couple ranks together they'll have more pop. I'm also not sold on the feathers. Most of the studio models I've been looking at have a second color at the end, either red or black. You can see that I skipped this step, but now the feathers look bland and I'm considering going back to give them some zazz. Hopefully they'll get the same rank bonus that the tassels get, but if not adding that extra accent should be quick and painless.
I wanted to write on the scroll, but it's too small.
The big holdup in this past group was the cannon. Not the carriage, which was just unusual, but the cannon itself. Specifically the way the cannon (wasn't) constructed. Evidence is building towards a particular conclusion: this Empire army may have been the first attempt at a showcase army. For example, the cannon is obviously not glued to the carriage, which is a departure from my usual approach of complete assembly before painting. But there's more illuminating evidence as well: the carriage wheels weren't glued on either. There are also no shields on the infantry, though this could have easily been a game decision, and the knights aren't glued to their mounts. My best guess is that I did this for ease of painting access. Considering the standard of the previously finished models, not so impressive by my current expectations but a lot better than what I was doing 10 years ago, it's pretty clear to me that I meant to take my time and paint these guys right back when I initially started the army. Coming back to the cannon, because it was separate from the carriage I didn't have a convenient base to hold (which also applies to the carriage itself), which made it challenging to not rub off the work I had just done. To combat this I went back to an old technique that's bitten me before. I painted the cannon brass, varnished it, then went back to do the details. This time the tactic worked and I was able to paint the cannon without having to constantly repaint it. The process was time consuming though, which is why it took so long to finish.
Now in progress.
There were beginnings to go with the endings. I got started on a batch of horses and plucked a nearly finished Warrior Priest from the pile as well. The WP might be the best painted of the initial batch and could have passed for complete, but I can take a little time with him and make him worthwhile instead of satisfactory. The horses surprised me like horses always do, but they shouldn't put up too much of a fight. The big problem I'm facing now is basing. You may have noticed none of the models are based and lack even basic sand. They're just flat plastic. My normal basing routine tends to swallow feet, and the Halberdier feet are slimmer than most, so I'm considering alternatives. I'd like some sort of sand/flock/static grass combo that won't compromise the feet, which is a tall order. The real problem here is that I don't want to varnish before basing so I can exploit the extra grip of the layer of varnish. Normally I have primer to help out, but not this time. No numbers have been crunched yet, but I feel like I'm getting close to striking distance on 800 points worth of troops for the school league EV has been talking about. Playing a 100% painted army is an unusual treat for me. Playing a fully painted army in my first game of a given system is unheard of, so I want to take advantage of the opportunity since I'm so close to it. I already have a block of infantry and a cannon, plus a nearly finished WP, and I don't anticipate the knights taking too long to do. That may or may not be 800 points of troops, but even if it's not it can't be too far away. One of these days I'll stay away from the painting table long enough to crunch numbers and write a few lists to see where I'm at, but right now I'm just hoping to come up for air and find I passed the finish line a while ago.